Cavite Gov. Remulla decries inadequate vaccine allocation for Calabarzon


Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla on Tuesday said that the Calabarzon region has not been allocated enough COVID-19 vaccines, despite its dense population and proximity to Metro Manila, the epicenter of the pandemic.

In a statement, Remulla said that the region—which consists of the provinces of Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Quezon and Rizal—has a total population of around 16.2 million, but has only been given 4.44 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine so far.

Metro Manila, Revilla claimed, has already received at least 12 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine so far or just a million doses short of its population of around 13.4 million.

"Sabihin na natin na ang epicenter ng pandemya ay talaga namang ang Metro Manila o NCR. Ngunit dahil kalapit ng NCR ang Cavite at Laguna, hindi maiiwasang kumalat din sa ating lalawigan ang malalang epekto ng COVID-19. Karamihan sa ating mga residente ay naghahanapbuhay o malimit na napapadpad sa NCR," Remulla said in a statement.

[Yes, Metro Manila is the pandemic's epicenter, but Laguna and Cavite border Metro Manila, so they cannot avoid the effects of COVID-19. Many of our residents work in the National Capital Region.]

"Kaya’t hiling po sana natin sa Department of Health (Philippines) and on behalf of the Region 4-A LGUs, ay kung maaari bigyan naman po ng pansin ang kakulangan ng supply ng bakuna sa ating rehiyon," Remulla added.

[That is why we are calling on the DOH, on behalf of the Region 4-A local governments, to look our way and address the lack of vaccine supply in our region.]

Remulla said that the DOH is accountable for this lack of COVID-19 vaccine supply, given that local governments cannot directly negotiate with vaccine manufacturers as the vaccines only have emergency use authorizations issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

"As of August 6, our supplier (American biotechnology company Novavax) has applied for emergency use authorization of its COVID-19 vaccine in the Philippines. The FDA has yet to approve the application," Remulla said.


"Ang Novovax lamang ang siyang pinayagan ng DOH para makipag-nego at mag-supply sa mga LGU habang ang mga brands na AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna ay tanging DOH lamang ang maaaring makipag-usap, meaning they do not entertain inquiries from us at the LGU level," Remulla pointed out.

[Novovax is the only vaccine manufacturer that the DOH has allowed to negotiate with us local government units. Other brands such as AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna do not entertain inquiries from our ranks as they only talk to the DOH.]

The Philippine government initially identified NCR Plus 8 as priority areas for COVID-19 vaccination.

NCR Plus 8 is composed of Metro Manila, Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite, Laguna, Pampanga, Metro Cebu and Metro Davao.

This has since been expanded to NCR Plus 8 Plus 10 to add other highly urbanized cities.

"The fact remains we simply do not have enough vaccine support to fight this global pandemic," Remulla said.

The government's data on COVID-19 vaccine statistics, the latest of which was issued August 15, does not show vaccine distribution per region.

At least 12 million Filipinos are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, a figure way behind the target of vaccinating 76.3 million Filipinos by yearend to achieve herd immunity against COVID-19. — BM, GMA News